June 17, 2019


""Many classic children’s books beg for philosophical readings: the likes of “Charlotte’s Web” or “Are You My Mother?” are well known as complex and subterranean ruminations on death and identity and community. Had you asked me a couple of years..."

"Summer reading—so much expectation and anxiety and judgment is compressed within those two words! June hardly has a chance to throw on a bikini and step onto the deck before morning shows, magazines, and Web sites descend with their “Beach Reads..."

"How many words can you fit in a subtitle? For a slew of modern books, the answer seems to be as many as possible. Just look at Julie Holland’s “Moody Bitches: The Truth About the Drugs You’re Taking, the Sleep You’re Missing, the Sex You’re Not..."

"When Hannah Arendt accepted the Emerson-Thoreau Medal from the American Academy of Arts and Sciences in April 1969, she used the occasion to reflect upon the contributions of one of its namesakes. Because Arendt did not step foot in America..."

"In scripture, we find not just religious thought and theory—When it comes to reading religious texts, intellectual curiosity and reasoning can only take us so far. We must approach them with a mind open to complexity, beauty and troubling honesty.."

"All across the country next weekend, thousands of men will open their Father's Day gifts to find David McCullough's new book, The Pioneers. McCullough, the author of more than a dozen books and the winner of two Pulitzer Prizes..."

"I do not believe in magic. I don’t see a need for it. A belief in magic negates how complicated the world actually is. There is a universe full of wonder and terror that we are only just now beginning to understand, which makes it hard for me..."

"I’m against knowledge. Don’t get me wrong: I’m as keen on the facts as the next person. I’m no friend of fake news. I want truth rather than falsity. It is specifically knowledge I’m against, not true belief."

"Tell me a secret. In the abstract, it’s an awful request. It suggests that the asked has a repository of secrets to reveal at any time if the feeling is right; that the asker deserves to be told one or any of these secrets..."

"There’s been a huge boom in Anne Frank kidlit in recent years. Anne is even beating Ruth Bader Ginsburg, the subject of at least seven books for young readers in three years."

"Exploring the great Argentinian writer’s unusual fascination with Judaism and enthusiasm for the Jewish state..."

"...for years after “Eat Pray Love” was published, critics gnashed their teeth over her privilege and silky prose, and questioned the depths of her suffering and the extent of her faith..."

"Merely writing for Quillette is like hoisting a flag and declaring your allegiance in the culture wars — as a tweet from Katja Thieme, an instructor in English at the University of British Columbia, made plain not long ago..."

"I couldn’t tell you when I first heard the words “Stonewall Inn.” I just remember thinking it sounded like a place I could go to get chowder with my mom near my campus in Connecticut."

"When I first read Against Interpretation and Other Essays (1966) in grad school, I fell in love with Sontag’s defiant excess and excessive seriousness – the very things that make her work endlessly relevant, and endlessly urgent."

"The dual nature of power and truth results in the curious fact that we humans know many more truths than any other animal, but we also believe in much more nonsense."

"“What name . . . shall we give to the darkness of hell...?” The question of how we can name a place such as this is at the center of scholar Scott G. Bruce’s new anthology The Penguin Book of Hell."

"As the canon of English literature slowly, gradually opens itself up to books by women and authors of color, Modern Library and Penguin Classics have just launched two new series..."

"With his new book, Howard Stern proves that his rightful place is among the prophets and moral visionaries, not the ‘shock jocks’"

"Power, although hard to handle, is greatly desired. There is no person or group or sect or party or mob that doesn’t want power, convinced that it would know how to use it as no one ever has before."

"If you’re old enough to remember the Soviet Union, you’ve probably wondered why so many young people today seem attracted to socialism. One influence is Howard Zinn, who published “A People’s History of the United States” in 1980..."

"The process of literary translation takes time, obviously, but there’s something else at play when it takes a decade or more for incredibly renowned authors to reach our shores."

"Could it be a civic duty to tune out the news? Journalist Oliver Burkeman floats this provocative idea in a recent essay published in the Guardian newspaper."

"Stuff Your ‘Rules’ “The Rules” taught us how to deform ourselves to nab a husband. But what would we do once we had him?"

"Daniel Bell never quite reconciled the Jewish conservative and the Yiddish radical within him. This tension helped generate some of his most important and creative insights."

"Nearly 60 years after she attended and wrote about the Eichmann trial, Hannah Arendt remains a controversial figure among intellectuals in Israel..."

"Rachel Held Evans ruled a corner of the Christian internet for the past decade, where she challenged the evangelical faith of her childhood..."

"Football enthusiasts wait in anticipation for the Superbowl, film fans countdown to the Academy Awards... I show up for the Met Gala."

"How do you measure joy? Can we calculate the pleasure of learning to read? Is it possible to quantify the satisfaction of reading an amazingly good book?"

"All Literature Is Climate Change Literature: Do we need a new aesthetics of climate change, or do we just need to revisit the classics with the appropriate sense of fear?"

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JJ Editor's Daily Picks

"How many monarchies remain? About 30, reigning over some 45 countries. The British monarchy, which dates to the 11th century's William the Conqueror, technically rules over 16 countries, including Canada and Australia. The current head of the..."

"I’ve been called for jury duty three or four times, but was never selected until last month, when I was put on the jury for a civil case in Superior Court in Bridgeport, Connecticut. It was a long day. You’re expected to show up at 8:30 in the..."

"The marker proclaims the settlement will be known as “Trump Heights.” Netanyahu said the name was chosen to thank President Donald Trump for breaking decades of US tradition and recognizing the Golan Heights as part of Israel in March. Prior to..."

"Taylor Swift released the second single from her just-announced forthcoming album Lover on Thursday, and the gist of it is classic Swift: “You Need to Calm Down” tells Swift’s haters that their mission to diminish her brilliance is doomed, that..."

"Over the last decade, more Americans have turned to renting houses instead of owning them. Data from 2017 says there are more people renting than at any other point in the past 50 years—since 1965. While a majority of these people are in their 20s"

"What do a Yemeni refugee in the queue for food aid, a checkout worker in a British supermarket and a depressed university student have in common? They're all being sifted by some form of artificial intelligence..."

"“You’re not in Jazzercise, ladies,” a trim, tattooed, fitness instructor chided me and the roomful of women who were attempting to work up a sweat one morning a few months ago. I’d never done Jazzercise, but I knew what she meant. The caustic cue.."

""Many classic children’s books beg for philosophical readings: the likes of “Charlotte’s Web” or “Are You My Mother?” are well known as complex and subterranean ruminations on death and identity and community. Had you asked me a couple of years..."

"Recent efforts to legalize marijuana in New York and New Jersey have been stalled — but not killed — by disputes over how exactly to divvy up the revenues from marijuana sales and by worries about drugged driving. Those are both important issues..."

"More than a dozen kosher eateries — selling pizza, bagels, falafel and schnitzel — dot Main Street in the Kew Gardens Hills neighborhood of Queens. But a newcomer on the block is sure to turn some heads, and maybe stomachs, too..."

"Founded in 1867, the Keuffel & Esser Co. commissioned a study of the future for its 100th anniversary. If you’re of a certain vintage, you might have used a K&E slide rule. Their “visionary” study was a huge dud, missing completely the electronic.."

"The Bible is the world’s most influential book. But books, like people, can be influential because of what they say, or because of what they are thought to have said. With a book as huge as the Bible, readers need some kind of key that will..."